Easter 2018

We would like to invite you to join with us this Easter as we celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection.

Good Friday (30th March) @ Grangetown Baptist Church

For several years we have held a joint Good Friday service with The Bay Church and Emmanuel in Gabalfa.  This year our joint service will also include Grangetown Baptist Church and Redeemer Church in Splott.

It will be held at Grangetown Baptist Church on Clive Road (CF11 7HP) at 10:30 am, and the preacher that morning will be Dai Hankey from Redeemer Church.

Easter Sunday (1st April) @ Caersalem

Morning Family Service: 10:30 am.  The Sunday School children will be taking part in our morning Family Service, and our pastor Andy Christofides will be speaking about The Empty Tomb.

Evening Service: 6:00pm.  Andy will be preaching again at the evening service, takig his text from Luke 24:15 “Jesus Himself drew near”.

Christmas 2017

From all of us at St Mellons Baptist Church, we wish you a very happy Christmas.  We would like to invite you to join us as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, during the month of December. [Read more…]

Life Explored Course

Our next Life Explored course will start on Sunday 28th January 2018.  It will be held on Sunday afternoons for 7 consecutive weeks, from 3:45 – 5:00 pm.  Please click the link above for more details.

Week of Prayer 2017

Advance notice:   our annual week of prayer will start on Monday 4th September, all being well.  The meetings will be as follows:

Monday: 7:30-8:30 pm

Tuesday 7:00 – 8:00 am

Tuesday 11:30 am-12:30 pm (following on from coffee morning)

Wednesday: 7:30 – 8:30 pm

Thursday: 7:00 – 8:00 am

Friday evening  Whole Church Family Prayer Meeting: Pizza and chips  6:00 -6:45 pm, Prayer 6:45 – 7:30pm

Saturday morning Men’s Prayer Breakfast 8:00 – 9:00 am

Old Yet Ever New

Old Yet Ever New

The Christian gospel is the most remarkable story in the world. It is not an ancient myth, nor is it modern fake news.  Neither is it a dark psychological thriller, although death plays a major part in the story. Rather, it brings light and hope with a promise of a future supreme happiness in heaven.

True news

The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good news’, and it is really good because it did not merely originate in the minds of fallible human authors, but was foretold throughout the centuries of the Old Testament writings by prophets whom God had inspired, and who were moved by the Holy Spirit. Then at the time of Christ, John the Baptist clearly declared that Jesus Christ was indeed the coming Messiah, the Saviour of God’s people, predicted from of old. This message was further explained by the apostles who established the Christian church upon Christ the cornerstone, and that faith in him alone qualifies us for membership of that church and unites us with him now and for ever.

The God-given nature of the gospel makes it absolutely true because God cannot lie. Paul sought to convince Titus of this fact when he wrote to him: ‘Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began’ (Titus 1:1-2). The apostles were so convinced of the truth of the gospel that most were prepared to suffer martyrdom rather than deny their faith in Jesus Christ. Luke was a careful researcher and included many verifiable historical details. He had ‘followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account’ (Luke 1:3). He spoke to eyewitnesses and, for example, checked out that Herod was king of Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus.

Fresh news

If someone tells us something we already know, we might say ‘that’s yesterday’s news’ or ‘that’s stale news.’ The amazing thing about the gospel is that it always appears to be fresh and satisfying no matter how often we have heard it before. If you have been brought up in a Christian home you would have attended morning worship from infancy, and that would probably have included a children’s talk, and often Sunday school would follow. By the age of 10 you may have heard the gospel 1000 times. Over every successive ten years you might hear the gospel 2000 times, so by the age of 70 you may have heard 13,000 gospel messages with prayer meetings and conference addresses as well.

The remarkable thing is that one can listen spellbound each time a preacher, with his own unique insight, urges people to repent of their sins and look to Christ for forgiveness and the salvation which he made possible by dying on our behalf at Calvary on the first Good Friday morning.

What makes the gospel story so different from even the cleverest fictional novel? Even the most inspiring human author can never write words capable of giving us eternal life. They might inspire a temporary moral reformation, but never produce in our hearts a ‘spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14). There is a freshness about the Spirit’s ministry, especially as we read his Word or as it is preached to us, which diffuses into our inmost being and affects our lives.

Backsliding and restoration

If we go off-track and grieve the Spirit, that gospel freshness will disappear. The Bible will become an academic textbook and sermons just a stream of words. Fellowship will have no joy and prayer will become a tedious duty, ‘the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron’ (Deut. 28:23). We will mourn its loss until we have returned in repentance to the right path again.

Jeremiah found great hope and comfort in remembering the Lord’s fresh portions of spiritual food which had fed his soul in times past: ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness’ (Lam. 3:22-23).

We will soon tire of repeatedly hearing broadcasts of yesterday’s news, but as faithful gospel ministers bring new insights into ‘the old, old story’ week by week, we will always be refreshed as we drink deeply from the well of truth.

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” O God my Saviour,

Morning by morning new mercies I see;

Thomas O. Chisholm (1866-1960).

____________________________________

Nigel T. Faithfull, 2017

Easter 2017

You are warmly invited to join us for our Easter Sunday services on 16th April.  The morning service will be a Family Service, during which the Sunday School children will participate by singing a song and reciting a Bible passage that they have been learning.   The evening service will be at 6:00pm, and our pastor Andy Christofides will be preaching at both services.

 

Kisakya Mukama (God’s Grace)

bec 4


“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

[Read more…]

Life Explored

le-logo_fullLife Explored is a new seven week course, designed to be an introduction to the message of the Bible and the good news of Jesus.

You won’t be asked to pray, sing, or read aloud, and you can ask any question you like. Or, if you prefer, you can come along and simply listen.

Life Explored is for anyone who wants to investigate Christianity informally with a group of other people. Whether you have previous experience of Church, Christians and the Bible, or none at all, this course is for you. Everyone is welcome – from the most sympathetic Sunday schooler to the convinced atheist. We will respect your background, culture and beliefs. Tell us as little or as much about yourself as you feel comfortable.

What goes on?

January 2017 will be the first time we have run this particular course. We will meet from 3:45-5:00 pm on Sunday afternoons in the church hall, each week there will be a  short video and some discussion time based around it.   Refreshments will also be provided

How long does the course last?

Seven weeks.

Can I pull out if I want to?

Of course you can.

Do I have to pay, or bring anything?

No, the course is free, and all materials are provided.

Is it ‘churchy’? Am I going to get preached at?

We don’t think so. After all, if that’s what you’d like, you can join us in our Sunday services! Life Explored is different. Each session includes a video designed to explain an aspect of Christian belief and to stimulate discussion. Hopefully you’ll find it challenging and interesting. The group leaders will facilitate discussion and try to answer questions.

Do I have to speak in the group?

Not if you don’t want to. You are welcome to come and just sit and listen.

What is Life Explored based on?

In Life Explored, each session looks at a different aspect of God’s character. Instead of giving your our opinion of who God is, we aim to simply explore what the Bible says about Him.

Why is the course run?

We count it a real privilege to explain the truth and relevance of the Christian message. We don’t have all the answers to every question, but believe that we have exciting news to share about Jesus Christ, and we’d like to share it with you.

When does the course run?

Our first Life Explored course will be starting on 15th January 2017. Please get in touch if you are interested in coming along, or just turn up on the day.

Mind how you go!

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As I sat alone in the restaurant at the caravan park drinking my coffee after a swim in the pool, a woman and her grandson came in and sat at a nearby table. She said to the little boy, “You will have to be quiet, there is someone here gathering their thoughts.” That set me wondering how old one has to be to make the transition from ‘thinking’ to ‘gathering one’s thoughts.’ Do one’s thoughts lie around in a jumbled mess after a certain age, like a child’s toys, rather than being arranged systematically in a tidy pile? I hope not.

The Bible has much to say about our thoughts and how we use our minds. It is an important issue for the Christian, and God cares very much what we think about, especially in moments of relaxation. We may remember the Apostle Peter’s exhortation as translated in the AV Bible that we should ‘gird up the loins of your mind.’ That is, tuck your shirt in, tighten your belt, and get ready for work. The ESV puts it like this: ‘Therefore, preparing your minds for action … do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance … but, you also be holy in all your conduct’ (1 Peter 1:13-15). We need to think carefully about our attitude towards a world driven by sinful passions, like selfishness and greed.

The Apostle Paul tells the Corinthian church: ‘Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature’ (1 Cor. 14:20). He was encouraging them to think carefully about the wise exercise of spiritual gifts in the congregation. This is something we are doing at Caersalem at the moment.

Paul counsels the Colossians that to have a right perspective on living in the world, with all its distractions, they should seek the things that are above, telling them and us to ‘set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.’ In normal circumstances a compass needle will swing around and point to the north. In the same way, the thoughts of a Christian should automatically tend to turn away from obsessively dwelling on the things of this world, but rather find joy in contemplating our Saviour Jesus Christ and our future home with him in glory. We have many duties and concerns which we must undertake and carefully plan ahead for, but it should always be with an eye to our future destination. This will put everything in a proper perspective and help us to be purposeful and diligent as we try to do all things for Christ’s glory. It will not then be said of us that we were so heavenly minded that we were no earthly use.

Paul later found himself in a Roman prison, yet in these trying circumstances, with so many of his own concerns to worry about, he was more concerned that the church at Philippi should know how to obtain the peace that he was experiencing. ‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace be with you’ (Phil. 4:8-9).

Are your minds troubled by all the violence and immorality we see on television or read in the papers? Here is the antidote and the road sign on our spiritual path which leads to inner peace – think often of Christ and thank him for all he has done for us. This will lead to a peace that the unbeliever knows nothing about in their experience: ‘The natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God … but we have the mind of Christ’ (1 Cor. 2:14-16). That is the true Mastermind. That was the mind the hymnist Katie Wilkinson (1859-1928) was praying for when she wrote:

 

May the mind of Christ my Saviour

Live in me from day to day,

By his love and power controlling

All I do and say.

(Christian Hymns, 607)

___________________________

Written by Nigel Faithfull, author and member of St Mellons Baptist Church (2016)

Greater than Solomon

Since September last year, Andy has been preaching through 1 Kings on Sunday evenings, looking at the reign of King Solomon.  Last week (3rd April) we reached 1 Kings 10:1-13, the visit of the Queen of Sheba, and Andy spent a large part of the sermon talking about Jesus’s reference to this incident: “The queen of the South will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:42).  

This stayed on my mind throughout the week, and I spent time meditating on some of the ways in which Jesus is infinitely greater than Solomon.  Here are just four of them.

A Great King

Solomon was a great king, one of the greatest that Israel ever had.  Under his reign, he extended the boundaries of the kingdom so that they were larger than at any other time in Israel’s history, the kingdom was united, the people were happy and their needs were provided for. His reign was the high point in the history of the nation of Israel, and for the 40 glorious years that he reigned they had peace with all the nations that surrounded them.

But if you compare him with Christ, Solomon pales into obscurity.  Jesus Christ is an infinitely greater king than Solomon!

1459768672802_imgJesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and even the greatest rulers on earth are subject to His authority.  It is Jesus, as the great King of kings, who delegates to our leaders the power and authority that they have to rule over us.

1459797355342_imgJesus is King over everyone who has ever lived, and over every part of the universe that He created.  He sits enthroned in the heavens, and one day every knee will bow before Him,  and acknowledge his kingly authority!

Solomon reigned for 40 glorious years, but then he died. His reign was over, and soon the kingdom was divided in two, and never regained it’s former glory and power.  Yet Jesus Christ is not just King for a few short decades, but from eternity past and His reign will never end!  It is impossible for anyone to ever depose Him, and all rebellions against Him will ultimately be quashed.  

The Israelites were happy with Solomon as their king, he brought them a time of peace and security that they hadn’t known before. In the Bible we are given some small glimpses of what it will be like to be in heaven with King Jesus, to whet our appetites and stimulate a longing within us for a kingdom far greater than anyone has experienced here.  A place where “in His presence there is fullness of joy… and pleasures for evermore”, where all tears will be wiped from our eyes, and there will be no more pain or sin or grief or death.  Yet this only scratches the surface of how wonderful it will be to finally be with Him, to have glorious new bodies that are incapable of sinning, and to reign with Him in His never-ending kingdom! It is infinitely more glorious than anything that we have ever seen or can even begin to imagine.    

Incomparable Wealth

Solomon was mind-bogglingly wealthy, with riches that far exceeded those of any other king of his generation, and even today he still tops the list of the wealthiest people in all of history.*  As well as building a great Temple for God, Solomon built a magnificent palace for himself, made with costly materials and with a unique throne made from ivory and gold. During his reign, gold was so plentiful that silver was considered to be as worthless as stone!  

1459770756718_imgYet the Bible tells us that it was God who gave Solomon all the wealth that he had.  As King over all creation, all that Solomon owned was God’s anyway, to dispose of as He saw fit.

“Every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.”  

Solomon’s wealth was worthless when compared with the vast resources that our God has at His disposal!

Unparalleled Wisdom

Above everything else, Solomon is remembered for his unparalleled wisdom. The Bible tells us that his wisdom, given to him by God at his request, was so great that no-one before or since would ever have wisdom like it. Solomon showed great wisdom in the way he administered his kingdom, the alliances that he made, and the judgements that he gave when mediating disputes among the people.  He wrote over 1000 songs and 3000 proverbs, he also wrote the book of Ecclesiastes and the beautiful love poem “Song of Solomon”.   He had wisdom and understanding “beyond measure”, so that his fame spread far and wide, and people travelled vast distances to learn from him.  When the Queen of Sheba came to talk with him, he was able to answer all the hard questions that were troubling her, “there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her.”  His wisdom was truly unparalleled.

1459932034243_imgYet Jesus is infinitely greater than Solomon in this, too.  Solomon’s wisdom was not something he created himself, it was a gift from God whose wisdom is simply in another dimension to that which any human being could ever have.   God is omniscient, there is nothing that He does not know, and His wisdom is infinite and utterly beyond our comprehension.

We see the wisdom of God as we look at the incredible world that we live in, which He designed and created in all its intricate details. The beauty of it, the variety, the order and harmony behind it speak clearly of the wisdom of the Creator. The wisdom behind just one flower created by Him far exceeds even the best human designs and inventions!

Yet it is when we consider God’s “secret and hidden wisdom” of His plan of salvation that we see most clearly how vastly superior His wisdom is to our own. No wonder that Paul bursts into praise and exclaims “Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements and his paths beyond tracing out!”

It should not surprise us then, as we look at the life of Jesus our Creator, that we see wisdom shining through all that He said and did.  From His childhood it was clear to those who knew Him that He was full of wisdom, as even then He amazed them with his understanding. During His years of ministry, the crowds who listened to His teaching were astonished at His great wisdom and authority.  Even on the occasions when the religious leaders attempted to trick Jesus with their Catch-22 questions, He was able to answer each time in a way which astounded them.  

1459954141374_imgJesus, our “Wonderful Counsellor”, showed perfect, heavenly wisdom not just in what He taught but in every aspect of His life: how He related to everyone He encountered, how He dealt with temptation, His priorities and His leadership of His disciples.   His whole life reflected His divine wisdom, and unlike Solomon whose heart turned away from God later in life, He never sinned!

Man of Peace

Solomon was the king who brought peace to the land of Israel. Ever since Joshua and the Israelites had entered the Promised Land around 450 years earlier, God’s people had been in almost continual conflict with the nations that surrounded them. Solomon’s father David was renowned for being a great warrior, but in contrast to him Solomon was “a man of peace and rest” .  Throughout his reign Israel had peace from all of their enemies, and Solomon formed many useful political alliances.

Like Solomon,  Jesus brings peace to His people.  Hundreds of years before His birth, Isaiah told the people that their Messiah would be called the Prince of Peace, and His peace is of a quality which far surpasses the peace that Israel experienced during Solomon’s reign.

1460317193554_imgJesus told His disciples that the peace that He gave was different to the peace that the world can give, and His peace is so unique, so great, it is a peace which we simply can’t get our heads around.  His peace is perfect peace, complete peace: peace with God, peace within ourselves, and peace with other people too.  

1459860456756_imgOur sin means that we are by nature enemies of God, and not at peace with Him. We can’t do anything ourselves to get peace with God, we have to rely on Jesus the Mediator, the Peacemaker, who provided the only way to forgive our sins and to bring us to God.  This reconciliation with God brings a peace which the world can never offer us.

Jesus also gives us peace within ourselves: the peace of knowing that our guilt is all washed away, but also a deep peace of mind that keeps us secure no matter how difficult the circumstances of our life may be. It is a peace that comes because we know we have a God who is overflowing with love for us, who will never leave us, and who will provide for all our needs.  1459861123122_imgWe can be at peace because we know that our God is in sovereign control not just of the universe as a whole, but of our lives as individuals, and that if we are His children then He will work even the worst times of our lives for our lasting good.

1459869296136_imgAlthough we live in a world which is full of conflict and hostility, Jesus also gives peace between His people.  Barriers which would normally exist between us are destroyed by Jesus as He unites those whom He loves in one body, His bride.

 

The peace that Israel experienced during Solomon’s reign was temporary. Soon after his death the kingdom was divided in two, and once again they faced hostility from their enemies in the nations around them.  

1459882079280_imgYet the peace that Jesus offers is everlasting peace. We can experience it to a limited degree here on earth, but in heaven there will be nothing at all to spoil His peace. The prophets poetically described it as a time when swords will be beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks, and when “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.”   A place of perfect, eternal peace!

Jesus said that He was greater than Solomon: what an understatement!   Solomon was the greatest, wealthiest, wisest king that the Israelites had, but Jesus is infinitely greater in every way!  One day, like the Queen of Sheba, we will gaze in breathless awe and wonder at our King, and realise that “the half was not told me” during our lifetime here.  There are such great depths for us to spend eternity discovering!

 


www.wealthresult.com/2013/07/top-10-richest-men-of-all-time-in.html  



Written by: Lis Rowe, member of St. Mellons Baptist Church